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April 8, 2014
Posted at 9:13 pm
Updated: April 9, 2014 - 7:45 am
 

One Chapter Doth Not a Story Make

I think I may have found a reason to withhold votes until a serial is marked "Concluded."

I posted Chapter 23 of Dee Saves the Program and my vote count is up by one, cumulative vote is down by .02 points.

OH MY GOD! I'm dying!

No, actually I'm not. I realized after I posted it that chapter 23 was probably not going to garner votes. My editor, to whom I am eternally grateful, told me "not much happens."

I can't argue with that.

But one of my more communicative feedbackers observed that there is a lot of "foreshadowing" in it.

Damn right. That is why it is there.

At first I tried to make 23 filled with action, passed it to my editor, whose reaction was "flat."

Yeah, it was, and frankly it just didn't work, even though it featured a near riot.

It was not right. The things that happened -- there was a lot more action -- were WRONG. Maybe it was Dee told me "that's not the way it happened!" Whatever.

I didn't quite junk all of it, but it underwent a massive rewrite. I am satisfied with the results.

There was no sex? Tough. I was not going to put sex in a church in there. Some other time, sure, but not there.

I regret that it disappointed some of my readers, but that's the way it goes. I spent about a month on that chapter and I refused to publish something that didn't satisfy me and serve the greater goal of The Story.

Not that I haven't failed on that account more than once, but I try to avoid making a habit of it.

That's why I say that olne chapter doth not a story make. A story, a completed story, consists of many chapters, and it is the sum total of those chapters that matter. To cite and extreme example, Moby Dick has some incredibly long, tedious sections. But they serve a purpose for the author, and the reader has to be willing to plow through them, or skip over them. Overall Moby Dick is regarded as a great work of literature.

I don't claim to be writing great literature, but I am writing to tell a good story, with lessons to be learned from it, to broaden my readers' perspectives and perhaps make them think even as I entertain them. If there is an occasional dull patch in the service of that goal, so be it.

So yeah, maybe there is a good reason to wait before voting, but with SOL's system I hope I will earn my my lost .02 cumulative and then some. Meanwhile, I can live with it. I understand.

My thanks to all those who vote -- even the trolls with the 1s -- and to those who take the time and effort to send feedback, pro or con, my deepest gratitude.